It won't be pretty Husker fans. I'll say that upfront. Our opinion of ourselves might be just a tad bit inflated and this game certainly showed it. As figures show, Minnesota was the SECOND best team we have faced this year and we lost. So are the stats a fluke? Will the stats trend back towards us? Can we reverse the steady decline in the trends? Let's dive in deeper and take a look at the stats I think really are worth looking at to this point in the season.
* ALL STATS HAVE BEEN TAKEN FROM WWW.FOOTBALLOUTSIDERS.COM *
Fremeau Efficiency Index
This is a good stat formula I like to look at. The Game Efficiency shows you everything rolled into one, without considering the SOS. Pretty much everything else then incorporates your SOS after that. That final FEI rating is all the stuff put together with a SOS factored in. AvW is what the average number of games a team with that given FEI rating would be expected to win against its entire schedule. The RemW column is basically the average number of wins expected against the remaining schedule with the current FEI rating.
|78||at Penn State||-||64||54||66||5.1||2.3||83||56||85|
Your FEI rating can change fairly quickly (Ohio State, though they were trying to impress, did jump 9 spots in one week) so that is some case for optimism for the Huskers. The down side to that: We aren't Ohio State. Hey, on the flip side, we are really close to Minnesota now and THEY jumped 14 spots overall!!! I've been hoping these stats would start trending upward for us but at this point, is this who we are? Our two toughest opponents we've played are losses at this point and yes, Minnesota, according to this is our 2nd toughest team. The 3rd toughest team we've played? Wyoming, who we beat by 3, at home. Ouch.
Reasons For Doom & Gloom
You pretty much have read it. We only play one more team ranked below us on the remaining schedule though NW is at home. Still, that one team we play below is the same range of team Minnesota was before beating us and that is on the road too. Further, it looks like we will roll with a freshman QB on an offense that is trending backwards. Ugh.
Reasons For Hope & Happiness
Stats can be flawed. Further, the change at QB may actually help. I've heard people say we can't win with a Freshman at QB unless they are a Manziel or this freak from FSU. Well, that may be true for a top 10 team. We certainly aren't that. We are wanting a division title. The one good thing, and as I pointed out in my QB rating fanpost a couple weeks pack, our two headed monster of Armstrong/Kellogg actually performed much better than any one Martinez game this year. That's not me running down Martinez, those are numbers. Part of that reason is I think Beck pars down the playbook and makes things easier for everyone and gets out of his own way too. He's not a good play caller, I think we can all agree with that, so being force to simplify may be the best thing for us with this team.
S&P+ - Bill Connelly Stats
|at Penn State||-||61||48||103||113||105||107||112||17||11||4||24||7|
|* PE = Play Efficiency; PS = Passing Situations|
|* F/+ combines S&P & FEI ratings. (Many Advanced Stats Guru's Like To Use This As Overall)|
What Does It Show:
Our whole team dropped quite a bit, especially in S&P+. Offensively, we took a big step back but performing like that against the #74 defense will do that. Further, after trending upwards on defense, we took a big step back again at the hands of the #77 offense this time. You look at the schedule left for our offense, and that was the weakest defense we will face though Michigan is in Minnesota's ballpark. The big hit our offense took was passing efficiency as we plummeted to the 80th best throwing team in the nation after being in the Top 30 for most of the season. Rushing stayed solid but our passing and play efficiency brought us down in a major way. As for what our defense will face from here on out? We do face two offenses worse than Minnesota in PSU and MSU but the rest are much better so the question begs itself: Are the stats going to correct themselves and will a change at QB spur our offense enough to make up the ground for what is one of the worse defenses in the Big 10?
Big 10 Standings
- Ohio State - 4-0
- Wisconsin - 3-1
- Indiana - 1-2
- Penn State - 1-2
- Illinois - 0-3
- Purdue - 0-3
- Michigan State 4-0 (Michigan, @NU, @NW, Minn)
- Michigan 2-1 (@MSU, NU, @NW, @Iowa, OSU)
- Nebraska 2-1 (NW, MSU, @Mich, @PSU, @Iowa
- Iowa 2-2 (Wisc, @PUR, Mich, @NU)
- Minnesota 2-2 (@IND, PSU, Wisc, @MSU)
- Northwestern 0-4 (@NU, Mich, MSU, @ILL)
Husker's Legendary Hopes
Well, winning out would help, though it isn't necessary. Yes, despite the debacle in the Twin Cities, we still could likely win the division without winning out though it would obviously require help. Certainly, we CANNOT lose to Sparty. It would hurt to beat Big Blue either. Win those two and you will have a huge tie breaker over each one even if you lose another one. However, with NW being our easiest of home games remaining on the schedule, we really NEED to win this week.
Week 10 B1G Viewer's Guide
- 11:00 AM - ESPN - Illinois at Penn State - Get a glimpse at future opponent PSU. That's all this is for us.
- 11:00 AM - ABC/ESPN2 - Wisconsin at Iowa - Should be a good one. Iowa keeps games close. We could use a Badger win just to keep Iowa from sneaking into this thing.
- 11:00 AM - BTN - Ohio State at Purdue - Old Urban will try to hang a 100 if he can.
- 2:30 AM - BTN - Minnesota at Indiana - I don't think the game matters to us honestly but technically Minnesota is still in this race.
- 2:30 AM - BTN - Northwestern at Nebraska - NW is fighting for Bowl Hopes. Nebraska may have a coach fighting for a job but he does coach best with a back up against the wall!
- 2:30 AM - ABC - Michigan at Michigan State - The marquee game of the Big 10 this week. Should be a fun, too bad B1G puts ALL games at same times. Get the clicker out to switch on TO's I guess.
You got to pull Wisconsin, Indiana and of course the Huskers have to win. Then comes our boys in Michigan and this will be a tough one to give you advice on who to pull for. If you think we can beat Michigan AND MSU, then you pull for Michigan. However, if you think we lose to one of those teams, you need to be rooting for that team to lose. Remember, MSU has a much easier schedule remaining with only NW and Minnesota left after us and Michigan. Sure, we would have head-to-head over MSU if we beat them at home. But if we don't win out, that may not matter IF MSU beats Michigan SO as much as I hate to say it, a Michigan win would actually be better for us if we hope to win the division without winning out.
My Final Take
Bo's act is wearing thin, this I think everyone can agree. However, one thing I will give him credit for is when his back is against the wall, his team usually comes out firing away. It would not shock me the least to see this team go and run the table from here on out, at least to the title game, and a lot of that will likely be because we will have a full ability QB behind center. It would also be his best coaching job to date. The other part, when the Bo is backed down, he comes out harder and more focused than ever. He had better. It may be his final stand.
Wildcats vs Cornhuskers coverageThe Daily GopherCornhuskers vs Golden Gophers coverage